Beta-Alanine Benefits: A Guide to Effects, Dosage, and Safety

Beta-Alanine: The Weapon for Endurance and Muscle Performance
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Everyone knows creatine. Many people use it periodically or even constantly.

However, the effect of this supplement is felt by "every other person" – such is its "character". Meanwhile, there is a supplement that, in many ways, replicates the action of creatine.

And, most interestingly, it is more effective. Its name is beta-alanine.

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Beta-Alanine is the beta version of the amino acid alanine. That is, it is simply an amino acid, and a non-essential one at that – it can be produced (and indeed is produced) somewhere within our bodies.

Beta-alanine does not participate in protein synthesis – it is needed for other purposes. For what exactly? For the synthesis of the dipeptide carnosine.

However, it is not only beta-alanine that takes part in the synthesis but also another amino acid – histidine. The resulting substance from the synthesis – carnosine – has pronounced antioxidant properties.

As a result of increasing its concentration in the muscle, the latter gains the ability to work longer at a peak level. How? By preventing the muscle from accumulating lactic acid.

Why not use carnosine itself instead of its precursor? It's quite simple: actual carnosine is too expensive to be used regularly in appropriate amounts.

Moreover, in experiments, subjects who took 4 grams of beta-alanine daily for 8 weeks saw their carnosine concentration in muscles increase by more than 50%, which can be considered an excellent result.

Beta-alanine itself is relatively easy to produce, making its use as a supplement much more economically feasible.

Beta-Alanine and Creatine

To some extent, the effect of beta-alanine is similar to that of creatine, although achieved through different mechanisms. With one exception: beta-alanine is well absorbed by everyone without exception.

That is, regular use of beta-alanine can significantly increase training performance – you can train longer and more intensely, with less fatigue.

Unlike creatine, beta-alanine does not retain water. It also helps not only to maintain but even slightly increase muscle volume during a strict diet.

Interestingly, both supplements – creatine and beta-alanine – can be taken together, enhancing their effectiveness.

Effects on the Body

Regarding quantities, in an experiment conducted in 2007, athletes took 5.25 g of creatine and 1.6 g of beta-alanine daily. Beta-alanine is especially beneficial for the muscles of older athletes – as the body ages, it produces less and less of this amino acid.

Beta-alanine not only helps men and women over the age of 50-55 stay fit longer but also somewhat increases life expectancy.

Beta-alanine also helps suppress spontaneous outbursts of rage (seen even with the use of certain "anabolics"). Additionally, it helps combat various phobias, regardless of gender and age.

Many studies have been conducted on beta-alanine. According to one of them, beta-alanine allows sprinters to exert more effort in the final stretch. According to another, it makes interval training much more effective.

Dosages and How to Take It

The usual daily dose of beta-alanine is 2-5 grams, but the upper limit seems excessive to me: a daily maximum of 3.5 grams is quite sufficient.

However, a dose of 1.6 – 2 grams is also effective: studies show that its efficiency is only slightly lower than that of the higher dose.

The entire daily dose of beta-alanine is usually taken at once, and it is better to plan the intake during a meal – this increases the effectiveness of this amino acid.

As for timing, beta-alanine is best taken at breakfast or a couple of hours before training. However, keep in mind that taking three or more grams of beta-alanine will definitely result in paresthesia.

What is Paresthesia?

This is an annoying sensation of burning, tingling – usually felt on the face but can spread throughout the body. It is very unpleasant, so it is best to avoid large doses of beta-alanine.

Taking two grams does not cause any paresthesia, so if you want to set the daily dose of beta-alanine at 3-4 grams, split it into two doses. The usual duration of beta-alanine intake is 5-6 weeks, followed by a break of roughly the same duration.

Interestingly, the effect of the supplement lasts for several weeks after its intake has ended.

Benefits of Beta-Alanine

  1. essential for men and women over the age of 50-55;
  2. useful for athletes to increase endurance;
  3. enhances the effectiveness of interval training;
  4. helps control rage and eliminate various phobias

In general, this is a supplement that cannot be called useless or conditionally useful. It is unequivocally beneficial and can be useful to almost everyone. A very rare case indeed!

Ivan Vlasov
fitness coach project creator
Fitness, lifestyle, health — three main directions dedicated to this internet resource. I simply love what I do. That's why I created the 2GYM project. Learn more
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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Роман · 2 years ago
    Как считаете, есть ли эффект и смысл принимать исключительно при силовых тренировках?
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Дядя Леша · 2 years ago
    Есть вопрос по креатину. На баночках и во всех рекомендациях пишут что надо кушать по 5грамм. Но некоторые личности, которых не повернется язык назвать дрищами некомпетентными, утверждают, что креатина надо кушать от 20грамм в день. Почему они так говорят, и какие Ваши мысли по этому поводу?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Yuri Bombela · 2 years ago
      До недавнего времени особых разногласий в этом вопросе не было: фаза загрузки (5 дней по 25 грамм креатина в день), за которой следовала фаза регулярного приема (5 грамм ежедневно). Последние исследования показывают, однако, что ежедневный прием креатина является не таким уж и обязательным.

      Практически идентичного эффекта можно достичь и в том случае, если фазу предварительной загрузки опустить, а креатин принимать только перед тренировкой, но в несколько более высоком количестве (7-10 грамм).

      Ну а самая последняя рекомендация (к которой можно прислушиваться, а можно и пропустить мимо ушей) звучит так: для обеспечения роста мышц 5-10 грамм креатина лучше всего принимать вместе с «быстрыми» углеводами сразу после тренировки.

      Правда, в этом случае теряется одно из важнейших преимуществ креатиновых добавок – повышение выносливости на тренировке.
  • This commment is unpublished.
    german · 2 years ago
    Очень эффективен, особенно в период максимального закисления мышц, так как помогает утилизировать лактат. Поэтому не при всех видах силовых тренировок работает, а только там где есть мышечный отказ и макс. закисление. Спасибо за статью
  • This commment is unpublished.
    sergey · 2 years ago
    Роль понижения пш в крови , хорошо исполняет сода или цитрат натрия, что а разы дешевле и рабочей
Ivan Vlasov
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